It seems there is now a serious storm brewing between Conor McGregor and the UFC.
During the week, we reported on top MMA journalist Jeremy Botter’s claims that Conor McGregor has intentions to soon part company with the UFC in order to run his own promotion.
Indeed, increasing signs have suggested that the powers that be in the UFC have become fed up with the Irishman’s growing confidence that has seen him refer to the fight company as ‘business associates’ rather than his employer’s.
After UFC 194, Dana White failed to turn up to take questions at the post event press conference while, in the very moment that Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo, UFC Co-Owner Frank Fertitta rather bizarrely slammed down a belt he was holding in what appeared to be a furious reaction to Conor’s win.
Last night, the excellent Irish podcast Off The Ball managed to get a hold of Bleacher Report journalist Jeremy Botter (who initially broke the news that McGregor would be fighting Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 197) and the MMA writer had some fascinating insight into the tense situation that has now developed between McGregor and the top brass in the UFC.
“His time in the UFC is limited. I’m not saying he will leave this year or next year, but I do believe he has a set amount of fights left that he wants to do with the UFC. At that point, I think he wants to go out on his own.”
Botter went on to state that the ‘Notorious’ trademarked ‘McGregor Sports & Entertainment’ last year and the power that he now commands in the UFC has seen such a fracturing of his relationship with UFC President Dana White that McGregor has frozen him out of his contract discussions
“I believe that things between Conor and Lorenzo Fertitta are okay but, from what I understand, Dana White has been frozen out of the process entirely and I don’t know why.
“There was going to come a point where… they’ve created this and now they can’t put it back in the cage.”
“They [White and the Fertitta’s] went out and were Conor’s best friends – you’ve seen the video of him driving with Dana down the strip and they’re hanging out at his house when he was training here last year.
“They thought they had a new best friend but what they actually had was a guy that wanted to be their business partner.”
You can’t help but get the feeling that this is a poor turn of events for McGregor. With the Irishman’s rise now similar to that of Icarus, we can only hope he doesn’t end up flying too close to the sun.